Japan's Nikkei share average ended higher for the third straight session on Friday in subdued trade, led by gains in Uniqlo parent Fast Retailing and video game maker Nintendo, while fears of an economic slowdown limited gains.

The Nikkei share average closed up 0.54% at 26,788.47, after moving sideways for most of the session.

The broader Topix index was down 0.03%. Nikkei ended the week 1.02% higher, while Topix was up 0.27%.

Euro STOXX 50 futures were up 0.86% ahead of markets opening in Europe, while FTSE 100 futures gained 0.39%.

Trading was muted ahead of a long weekend, with markets closed on Monday for a public holiday.

"It's difficult to make aggressive moves given the three-day weekend and earnings season approaching," said a market participant at a domestic asset management firm.

China's release of lower-than-expected GDP figures didn't appear to have had an impact on afternoon trading in Japan.

"GDP was bad, but may have been counteracted by speculation over a stimulus response," said SMBC Nikko Securities' chief emerging markets economist Kota Hirayama.

Focus is now on the release of a U.S. retail sales report later in the day. Some market participants said that stock prices are likely to react negatively if the data indicates negative effects of inflation.

Fast Retailing Co Ltd was the best performer on the Nikkei, soaring 8.70%, after raising its full-year profit forecast.

Nintendo Co Ltd gained 3.16% on plans of acquiring an animation studio.

Utilities companies rose after Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said he wanted to have nine nuclear power reactors in operation by this winter, up from the current five.

Kansai Electric Power Co Inc was the biggest beneficiary, up 2.41%, while Chubu Electric Power Co Inc gained 1.81%.

Despite the Nikkei's overall gains, 155 of its 225 components fell. Concordia Financial Group Ltd was the worst performer, down 3.85%. (Reporting by Tokyo Markets Team; Editing by Rashmi Aich)